Transforming a global internal audit function’s ability to drive business.
The internal audit function of a global insurance company wanted to reposition their relationship with the business. The team needed a streamlined, impactful audit report process and strong writing skills to communicate clear findings and actions.
Internal audit has a powerful role inside organisations to reduce risk and raise performance. Audit findings are vital for crystallising actions and improving the transparency of how the business is operating. They are also sensitive. We were tasked with equipping 400+ auditors around the world to be clear, direct, succinct and considerate communicators.
What we did
The project had two elements:
• developing a concise and consistent audit report template
• developing and delivering writing training for the global team
Our first step was to talk directly to a cross-section of the audit team to understand their perspectives, problems and priorities. One output of this process was a clear recommendation for a cut-down report design that would focus attention of auditor and reader on the most important aspects of an audit.
With executive buy-in for this new report, we refined and tailored our writing training modules to help auditors become better writers in general and equipped them to use the new template effectively.
Our audience covered a range of seniority, time-zone and first language. We delivered to teams in the UK and Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and Asia including live translation sessions in Japan. We also trained experienced auditors across the team to be better editors of their colleagues’ work, creating a self-improvement culture that would keep standards rising.
The Chief Internal Auditor said: “We reviewed several training providers, and Write the Talk were the stand-out option in terms of their approach and content.” Our recommendations for the new report template were accepted across the business with almost no changes. Client feedback surveys of attendees reported 96%+ of attendees satisfied or very satisfied with the training.
Comments included: “I thought it was a great mind-changing training with excellent takeaways.” “Sometimes we need [someone on the outside looking in] to truly gain perspective on what we’re doing and trying to accomplish.” “Great training, very useful and lots to reflect on and incorporate in our everyday writing.” As a result of our work, we’re supporting the client with other aspects of their strategy to build a new engagement framework with the organisation at the most senior levels.